The hub was a little pissed off with me one evening. He started talking rather loudly, and was a tad fierce even.
I had something to retort and it was already on my lips. But all of a sudden, Vera appeared from nowhere and slapped him on his back. She said something to the effect of “Don’t talk like that” or “Don’t do that.” Then she waltzed off.
Following her cue, JJ came along and also gave his dad a slap on the shoulders. He said, “You don’t beat mummy” in his fiercest voice. (Funny how he got confused and thought daddy was beating me.)
At this point, I had already forgotten what I wanted to say and started to laugh instead. I felt like the kids had seriously got my back covered.
A smile also appeared on the hubby’s lips. Obviously he couldn’t stay angry for long. He started to play along with them and said, “Of course daddy won’t beat mummy, daddy will tell her nicely not to do it again.”
Trust the kids to help defuse a tense situation unwittingly. I asked Vera later on why she did what she did. She told me matter-of-factly that she thinks Daddy should talk nicely to mummy all the time.
Wow. That’s nice to know, isn’t it.
But seriously, I think it was also because Vera felt uncomfortable seeing her father speak harshly to her mother. (And the reverse also holds true by the way. I recall speaking rudely to the hubby once and she exclaimed “mummy!” in a scolding voice. And once when we were squabbling, she said, “You all don’t talk like that ah!” or something similar.)
So…What can one conclude?
First, I think children feel a distinct discomfort when the parents fight. Or if the situation is tense enough, they could start feeling fearful. If the child is verbal enough, they will express it. For Vera, she expresses it by showing her disdain.
Second, I think she only reacted so strongly because the hubs was pretty fierce this time, and granted, this was actually uncharacteristic of him. (Not trying to give him credit here, just the facts.)
Third, now I know that the kids are always watching. I used to think they can be quite blur, but when it comes to the crunch, it appears they are more in tune with what’s going on around them than we think.
You know how we often say to our children, when you’re happy, I’m happy? It looks like the converse is also true. When we as parents are happy, our children are happy too. When we cry or are stressed, they get affected too.
So we did what responsible adults and parents should do – make up.
I tell you the truth, I was smiling all the way to bed that night.
Now that I’ve discovered I’ve got bodyguards / guardian angels around me…erm, I think daddy had better behave himself from now on. ;)